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Textbooks say it is considered a mistake to make sentences where an adverbial participle clause has a different subject from the main clause, except for some expressions referring to the speakers's attitude---such as 'generally speaking', 'judging from...' and 'considering...'---or when the main clause has preparatory 'it' or 'there' as a subject.

Let me ask you native speakers. In reality, is it really so?

You never ever make such a 'mistake'? Isn't there any case where you start out your sentence with an adverbial participle clause, with the underlying subject of it in your subconscious mind or something, and then you come up the main sentence whose subject is different from that of the adverbial clause?

Personally, I think there should be...It seems quite 'human' to make such a 'mistake'...
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Hi,

Definitely. We often start to speak with no clear idea of what we are going to say. In fact, we often speak in fragments that are far from proper sentences at all.

In writing, we have the opportunity to be a little more disciplined.

Clive
(A typo in my previous post: come up the sentence=>come up with the sentence---I happened to delete it by mistake).

Clive,

Good! Thank you. Glad to know that you are all human.Emotion: smile

Let me ask another question about adverbial participles.

Most of the grammar books written by a Japanese say the use of adverbial participles is quite formal and you don't hear or see them in daily use.

In reality, is it that formal?

Personally, I heard them used even in daily conversations when I was in the States...
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Hi,

It's hard for me to analyse the speech I hear in that way, it's something I just don't ever think about. How about you give me a couple of examples of the kind of thing you are thinking about, and I'll tell you how typical I think they would be?

Clive
CliveHi,

It's hard for me to analyse the speech I hear in that way, it's something I just don't ever think about. How about you give me a couple of examples of the kind of thing you are thinking about, and I'll tell you how typical I think they would be?

Clive

Ah, yes, examples.

・He got confused, not knowing why it happened that way.
・She sat on the grass, looking at the setting sun.

Do they sound formal to you? To me, they don't at all.

Some books written by a Japanese even say that use of adverbial participles is so formal that you rarely hear them used in daily conversations and you don't see them often in usual writing; I doubt it; I don't think it's that formal.

Are you with the books, Clive?

Hi,

No, I'm with you.

Clive
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Taka,

I think it depends on the population you survey.
Take, for example, the journalists who report the local news and the local people of the community whom the journalists interview during a 'breaking story'. Let's suppose that our example is a story on a convenience store robbery in a dubious area of a large city - an incident in which shots were fired and people were hurt.
In my humble opinion, if you surveyed the speech of all journalists in the U.S. in that sort of position, reporting a story, and then surveyed the speech of all the main actors in the story itself -- the perpetrators, the injured, the witnesses -- and in similar stories throughout the U.S., you would find quite a large difference in the two survey results.
The journalist group might occasionally use the sorts of adverbial structures you are interested in; the other group, almost never.
My estimate is that "ordinary people" whose job is not related to language at all, i.e., not journalists, writers, teachers, etc., rarely use these structures in everyday conversation. I'll try to keep my ears open in the next few weeks, and I'll report it if I hear any significantly frequent use of such grammatical devices!

CJ
CalifJim My estimate is that "ordinary people" whose job is not related to language at all rarely use these structures in everyday conversation.

CJ


CJ,

Before you proceed your survey, let me ask you somthing.

Why do you think 'ordinary people' rarely use the structures in everyday conversation? What kind of psychology do you think there might be working behind which makes you hesitate to use them?
I'm not sure it's a matter of hesitation to use them. It's a matter of some internal knowledge of when it is more appropriate and when less appropriate to use them.
I think that these structures introduce a certain amount of subtlety of expression that finds its natural home in literary works rather than in ordinary conversation. It has to do with style and with the very subject matter itself of a literary creation and an ordinary conversation. Talking about complicated things and/or trying to make them interesting to read leads us to form more complicated and indirect structures. Talking about simple things leads us to speak more simply and directly.

The report having been created, it was distributed to the employees. (Formal written language.)
We created the report, and handed it out to the employees. (Informal conversational account of the same fact.)

Finding that 4 o'clock was unavailable for her hair appointment, Mary settled for 5 o'clock. (Too formal for the everyday nature of the subject matter. This is an absolutely unimaginable statement if it is to be a statement of one friend to another. This is clothing a beggar in kingly robes, let's say!)
Mary tried to get a hair appointment at 4, but nothing was available then, so she settled for 5. (More authentic version.)

CJ
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